Well, strictly speaking - this photo was from the day before Christmas Eve, but Maddy was wearing her Christmas dress I made last year (which seems to fit her better this year!)
The rest are truely photos from Christmas Eve - Both guys were excited with the arrival of our visitor - Austen from England. Austen has now become Maddy's new best friend and Joshua's initial shyness has now worn off and he doesn't look down and giggle every time he sees Oz.
Still a wee-bit on the shy side in this shot!
We spent the day preparing menus, buying last minute gifts, chilling at home - and of course, Mads made some Chocolate cookies to leave out for Santa (Although Oz did comment that the cookies already looked like they had been digested by the reindeer...nice!)
Here is a shot of Maddy and Daddy leaving the cookie out...
and following in the old family tradition from my family - the kippers and champagne was at the ready for breakfast on Christmas morning.
and then came the last of the sewing - the dolls!
I finally finished both dolls on Christmas Eve - hoorah! Although I had grand visions of making Maddy cute little floral nighties for her one and pretty little dresses - I completely ran out of time, so all I managed was a simple nightie for the doll and a matching one for Maddy. I also made each doll their own quilt.
Joshy's doll got a few more clothes than Mads, because they were super simple to sew up. He is also the proud wearer of a hand knitted jumper by Grandma (which I will get a photo of soon!) which is adorable.
and both dolls together...
I was very happy to be able to sit down and have a glass of wine on Christmas Eve and actually enjoy an evening without sewing!
Blimey - I had no idea how much work was going to go into the construction of the dolls that I am making for Mads and Josh...I mean seriously - I have been hand tying individual hairs onto the crochet wig all evening and I still have two thirds left to do on the first doll! I love how she is taking shape though - and I am exited about giving her to Mads.
The pattern and directions were from Dancing Rain Dolls, which I highly recommend (I bought the pre-made kits) and the tutorials that come with the doll are brilliant. I have never crocheted or constructed anything like this wig before, but the step by step photo guides make it easy to follow.
I am getting a little nervous that I am not going to meet my deadline of finishing both before Christmas day - especially because I can only work on them whilst the kiddies are in bed, so I am hoping that my individual hair tying skills will pick up speed when I am less tired and more focused.
On another note, today we got a gift ready for a sweet little ladies birthday, an art box::
This idea, was completely from Ms Angry Chicken (who has infinite amounts of inspirational ideas) it just struck me what a wonderful gift for a little person - a gift that I know I would have LOVED as a kid!
Plans for tomorrow? chilling, enjoying some home time now that Mads has finished pre-school and we don't need to be anywhere...and sneaking in 5 minutes of wig making through the day, babes permitting!!
...of the ginger variety, that about sums up our day. We made gingerbread men today, as gifts for pre-school teachers::
Tomorrow we will be giving our little houses to friends, wearing matchy matchy dresses with our best friend and getting the last of the Christmas presents/cards out the door so that I can dedicate some real time to finishing some very important little things...
This weekend, it snowed - and whilst it was cold, it was manageable unlike our ice storm. Our electricity remained, and it just looked pretty and festive outside with a dusting of snow on the ground (enough to be pretty and exciting for the kiddies, but not enough to have an effect on the roads)
Whilst hibernating indoors, I plodded on with projects that had gotten put off last week. I actually had a list as long as my arm, of things that I wanted to achieve, but having had a week to focus on what was really important (ie spending quality time with my family) the list got revisited (and shortened), and priorities were re-aligned. So here is what we accomplished!
Gifts for Maddy's pre-school friends for the last day of school this week. I fell in love with these Martha Stewart boxes - they are just so pretty and Christmassy. They are filled with treats for each one of her classmates.
A special Christmas gift fr Maddy's best friend - a little homemade pillow with an embroidered princess on it::
A matchy (but not too matchy) set of dresses for a sweet friend's little ladies who are exactly the same age as Joshy and Mads::
A very special (and very secret gift) which will be heading to England tomorrow::
I started an impromptu project when I got an issue of the Japanese Craft Magazine - Cotton Time, through the post. I saw this little Christmas ring and fell in love with it::
The plan was to make two - one each for Maddy's teachers for their little Christmas gift basket - but, ummm, after just making one and falling in love with it, I will have to re-think what to give them!
Up close - it has a hand embroidered snowflake and stocking on the linen::
and here is our little pile of gifts - waiting to go out in the mail, or be wrapped up for our guys::
All in all, it just felt like a productive weekend!
We are back - after 86 hours of no power, our electricity finally started working this afternoon. We were all very relieved! The heating went straight on - as did the washing machine (2 things I have really missed!) and Joshy was able to finally take off his coat indoors - I must admit - whilst I was desperately trying to focus on counting our blessings whilst the electricity was out - I had started to get a little worried, especially as both kiddies had developed colds and permanently had cold hands and faces.
Here are some pictures of our area and how hard it hit us::
Frozen berries in the garden
Our pretty bush was covered in ice and shortly after this photo was taken, was squashed by a tree branch which fell from the tree above. I had never realised before how scary it can be to have frozen branches, not able to take the weight of the ice, snap off from the trees around us. They created such a noise - you could get a general idea of where the noise was coming from, but were powerless to do anything other than wait for it to land and see if the house was still intact.
The first night without power - after a day of freezing rain - was the pits - the silence of the house was only broken by the snapping of trees and branches and hearing them crash down...not nice.
This photo was taken whilst Jay and I ventured out to try and track down some firewood. We were pretty amazed with the sites we saw throughout our town on that journey.
Trees bowing under the weight of the ice on their branches::
A good illustration as to why so many people were without power (I think it was up to 240,000 homes in Oklahoma at one point)
Icicles formed on most powerlines and weighed them down
The tree that crushed our bush!
So, whilst all of this was happening outside - we did all we could to stay inside, keep warm and amuse ourselves. Which involved lots of reading with Grandma, lots of playing, crafting aplenty and lots of family time.
We did manage to finish our home-made nativity - and we are overlooking the fact that Mary looks like a catfish or that Joseph has now gone AWOL....
and whilst all of the pictures are taken showing lots of light - this is perhaps more of an accurate image of our house from 4.30pm - 7.30am
The power seems to be a little on the dodgy side still and we lost power again for a few minutes this evening - I nearly cried! We are also bracing ourselve for more wintry weather which will hit us tomorrow - so we are just praying that it doesn't hit as hard as before.
I have been crafting alot over the past few days, with the aid of my trusty light::
Granted, its not the sexiest accessory in the world! but it has come in SOOOO handy over the past few days! I haven't any photos of the hand sewing I have been doing - weather and power permitting I am hoping to sew them up for Maddy's pre-school teachers as presents.
And now, I am going to bed and hoping and praying that we still have power and heat when I wake up...x
An ice storm hit us in the early hours of Monday Morning and has left us without power for 36 hours now (managed to squeeze on a wi-fi network in a coffee shop right now!) The kiddies are enjoying the excitment of no power and all that goes along with it - including baths by candlelight and real fires in the lounge and we are enjoying an interesting glimpse into life before power and television.
The children have amused themselves so wonderfully I am actually questioning why on eath we have the TV at all (except for Project Runway, can't possibly miss that!) We have invested in a board game of snakes and ladders - which our lil lady is hugely enamoured by - and she is also keeping all of us amused with shows that she is putting on and shadow displays with her (battery powered) lantern.
So, as much as I am missing the creature comforts of things like light and warmth! We are also embracing the togetherness which comes with such a scenario and enjoying company and conversation (and embroidery by miners-type head light!) that is happening right now.
I am off to have a coffee now with 5 minutes peace and warmth, love to all
Just before we headed out this morning - I had the idea that it would be good to get a photo of Mads and Josh in their matchy Christmas outfits that I made this weekend....yeah!
Mads seemed intent on either tackling Joshua to the ground or hugging him until they fell over...
Not the picture perfect images I was initially hoping for, but very much a glimpse of their little personalities.
There have been lots of developments on the crafting front this weekend - thanks to our new visitor - Grandma. I was actual able to not only go to the toilet on my own and have a shower without an audience - I also was able to crack on with christmas gifts over the weekend and put a dent in my to-do list::
Plodding along with the Christmas doll making
Sewing up some embroideries...
The weather also gave us a helping hand with our productivity - it made us want to stay in and hibernate. Its cold here now - winter has definetly hit::